IELTS Listening: Multiple Choice Questions


Many candidates say that they find the multiple choice question tasks in IELTS listening test harder than other listening tasks. This is because you do not have much time to read the multiple choice questions in the Listening Test booklet before the passage begins. Therefore, decide which parts of the question task to read first is very important.

Before you listen:
You need to understand what the topic of the talk or conversation is about so that you can predict what ideas and words you might hear. Therefore, read the instructions first.
• Once you read the instructions, do not forget to look at the example if there is one.
• Next, you should read the first question and all the possible answer choices to that question. By doing this, you will be prepared for the first question when the passage begins. Note that you do not know how much time you have before the passage begins.
• Circle any keywords/phrases in the question and possible answer choices that you feel might help you in listening for the answer. Make sure that the keywords/phrases refer to the specific topic of the question.
• Then, you should at least read the other questions for keywords before you read any of the possible answer choices to those questions. This will further assist you with predicting and prepare yourself to move on to the next question as the questions change.
• Be ready to give the answer to the first question as soon as the passage begins. Sometimes the answer to the first question is given in the speaker’s very first sentence.

As you listen:
• Carefully examine the answer choices for each question as you listen to the passage.
• Do not overlook “all (or none) of the above” answer choice.
• If in doubt, remember that all listening and reading dialogues/passages are factual texts, reject the one/ones against the fact using your common sense. Of course, this is not always so; however, if you have no alternative but to guess, this hint might help.

In the time given to you at the end of the multiple choice questions:
• Check the choices you have made.
• Guess the answers to unanswered questions – do not leave blanks.
• Do not change the answers for those ones that you guessed by your “instinct” in the first place.

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